The sun is shining (yes, even in Scotland; well, most of it!) and the holiday and music festival season is in full swing, which means that summer is well and truly here.
As a landlord, though, there is no time to rest on your laurels, particularly at a time of the year when turnover of tenancies is high and new tenants look to use the better weather and longer days to secure their dream rental home.
We know the number of people renting continues to rise dramatically year in year out. In fact, recent research has suggested that nearly a quarter of all households in the UK could be renting by 2021, a 4% rise from today. The need for good-quality, homely and well-maintained rental properties has never been greater.
But it’s important that landlords don’t get complacent. You still need your property to stand above the competition, to lure in tenants with a home that is by turns attractive, safe and in fine working order. Luckily, summertime offers certain advantages to help make your rental homes look their very best.
You can shine a positive light (quite literally) on your property’s best attributes, in turn increasing your chances of securing reliable, long-term tenants who will treat your home like their own and pay their rent on time.
Below, using our experience as West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, we outline some of the ways in which you can use the summer months to attract tenants.
Fill your home with natural light
A home always looks better when it’s flooded with natural light and sun. If the weather is being kind, as it’s more likely to be in the summer months, take full advantage of this. Certain parts of a house – in particular the kitchen, bathroom, loft extension and conservatory – tend to get the most exposure to sunlight, but you can also point out to would-be tenants how other parts of the house, especially bedrooms, can remain cool even in extreme heat.
When the temperatures really start to soar, we all need somewhere to escape to cool down a bit – if your rental home possesses such spaces, don’t be afraid to point these out too.
Generally speaking, summer calls for light, airy, cooling décor, which you may also want to bear in mind when it comes to the decoration and furnishing of your rental home.
Utilise garden space
As we pointed out in a previous blog, good garden space can be excellent way of attracting tenants, particularly at this time of the year. Whether you’re aiming your home towards families with young children or busy working professionals, garden space is likely to be a key selling point.
For younger tenants with busy social lives, the garden could well be a place to dine al-fresco and hold informal drinks parties with friends. For family tenants, a safe space for the kids to burn off all that excess energy is likely to be a key consideration during the school holiday season. If your home has a BBQ area, decking or space that is ideal for entertaining/socialising, point this out to tenants.
More important than anything, though, is to make sure your garden is well looked after and pleasing on the eye. This doesn’t take much time, effort or money – a quick spruce up can be achieved in 20 minutes max, with a mow of the lawn, the trimming of any trees and hedges and a bit of tender loving care for any plants and shrubbery.
Use the weather to your advantage
When the weather is better and the days longer, would-be tenants are more willing to carry out viewings and move from rental property to rental property. After all, lugging items about when it’s warm and dry is preferable to doing so when it’s cold and wet. What’s more, the summer months mean more hours in the day, which means more time slots in which to arrange viewings.
Make sure to use this to your advantage, working with your letting agent to get as many eyes on your rental property as possible. The more prospective tenants who come to view your home, the better your chances are of securing a long-term, mutually beneficial tenancy. Whether you, or your letting agent, carries out the viewings with tenants, be sure to really sell your home – pointing out its main attributes and selling points and doing all you can to leave a lasting impression on those who come to view the property.
Give tenants a friendly welcome
If the weather outside is sizzling, homes in the UK can get a little bit toasty too. You want those viewing your home to be able to do so in comfort, which is less likely if it’s really stuffy and humid inside. One way of getting around this issue is to open doors and windows in your home before a viewing to ensure plenty of fresh air is let in and allowed to circulate. If the weather is particularly hot, you may wish to have fans in place or, if your home possesses it, blast out some cool air via an air conditioning unit.
This will help to keep your home cool and allow tenants to view it in comfort. If your letting agent is carrying out the viewing on your behalf, work with them to ensure a comfortable viewing environment is achieved.
At Letting Solutions, we will use our years of experience, knowledge and local market expertise to help you get the most from your rental properties. For more information about how we can help you, please get in touch with us on 01506 496 006. We also provide a free and instant online valuation tool to give you an idea of how much your rental property could be worth in the current marketplace.